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Season 04/05 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Scunthorpe United  
1 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Baraclough 1.
 Artell 70.
Attendance: 5463 (1263 from Mansfield)
Date: 25th September 2004

Martin Shaw at Glanford Park


Mansfield Town produced a super display at Glanford Park this afternoon and returned home with a precious point, but surely deserved all three. Ian Baraclough reminded Stags fans of his shooting prowess with his first goal for Scunthorpe after just 75 seconds, but Dave Artell equalized after 70 minutes with a crunching header from a corner. The Stags dominated for around 80 minutes but were unable to turn their superiority into goals and had to settle for the draw.

McNiven returned from illness in place of Dimech. Loan signing Craig Woodman came in at left back with Day dropping to the bench and Baptiste returning to central defence. Asamoah returned from his calf strain at the expense of MacKenzie.

Scunthorpe were ahead after just one minute and 15 seconds. A loose ball fell to Ian Baraclough about 22 yards out from goal and he hit a screamer into the top right hand corner to give Pilkington no chance. It was an unwelcome goal for the Stags, the second time in as many games that they have conceded within two minutes.

After five minutes, Alex Neil gave an unnecessary free kick away near the touchline, level with the edge of the penalty area. The free kick came to nothing but incredibly, within a minute, he gave another free kick away in almost exactly the same position. Fortunately for the Stags, again it came to nothing. The Stags had their first meaningful attack on ten minutes. Asamoah made a fine run from the half-way line and was unceremoniously dumped to the ground around 30 yards from goal, with the Scunthorpe defender lucky to escape a booking. Corden chipped his kick into the box but it came to nothing as a Stags player committed a foul. Possibly a shot would have been a better option. Two minutes later, Larkin crossed from the right and Asamoah dived for it but only made connection with his hand and was rightly booked.

On 14 minutes, a fine Stags move started with Corden just inside his own half. He ran down the left, found Asamoah, who laid a ball across the middle for Neil to hit a first time shot just over the angle. On 16 minutes, a good ball from Murray found Larkin who shot across goal but there was no-one there to turn it home. A couple of minutes after that, a good ball from Woodman, who had already settled well, found Larkin with his back to goal. He turned well but shot straight at the keeper.

There was a rare attack for Scunthorpe a minute later as Hayes strode into the Stags box but shot just over the bar. Just a minute after that, the ball was back at the other end as Asamoah found Murray 30 yards from goal and he hit a great strike against the top of the bar. This was the old Adam Murray we had been waiting to see.

On 24 minutes, another fine move from the Stags as Murray found McNiven, on to Asamoah, back to McNiven who crossed into the box but it was just too high for Corden’s head. On 25 minutes, Scunthorpe played a dangerous cross into the Stags box from the left but Woodman was there under pressure with a fine goal-line clearance. On 32 minutes, Asamoah, already on a yellow card, barged a defender over the bye-line and was spoken to by the referee but fortunately didn’t receive a second yellow. On 35 minutes, yet another fine move from the Stags ended with a chance for Curtis from 20 yards but he blasted his shot high and wide. A minute later, Asamoah got the ball with his back to goal 25 yards out, turned and made space for himself but shot wide. On 41 minutes, there was scramble in the Scunthorpe box and Curtis had a shot blocked. On the stroke of half time, Corden floated a cross in and Murray glanced a header towards goal but it was saved by the diving keeper, Musselwhite.

So the Stags went in behind at half time but this had been a good performance, completely dominating possession and chances. Woodman looked full of class, Murray looked more like his old self and the defence generally looked solid.

Half time 1-0

Mansfield started the second half in the same vein and were all over Scunthorpe. There were several early corners and a good run from Corden with a cross that just evaded the Stags strikeforce.

On 57 minutes, Murray embarked on a superb run and toe-poked a shot towards goal from 16 yards which was brilliantly held by the keeper low down. Two minutes later, a fine ball from Corden found McNiven who played a one-two with Neil and crossed towards Asamoah but the keeper tipped the ball away from Asamoah’s head. A minute later, Curtis ballooned a volley over the stand, his third shot of the afternoon over the bar.

On 61 minutes, Scunthorpe had their first attack of the half with a diving header from Hayes being well saved by Pilkington. Two minutes later, Asamoah made a good break but couldn’t get a shot in. At the other end, Baptiste made a superb tackle to stop a Scunthorpe break. Midway through the half, with the Stags completely on top, a good spell of pressure saw two shots from Corden blocked and eventually Larkin shot at the keeper.

On 70 minutes, the goal finally arrived. From a Neil corner from the right, Artell timed his run late and powered a header into the top right hand corner to spark wild celebrations.

The Stags immediately had more corners and more pressure but couldn’t find the cutting edge. On 80 minutes, Scunthorpe had their second chance of the half. A free kick from the half way line was flicked on and substitute Rankine volleyed over the bar with the goal gaping. Back at the other end, Asamoah found Corden who played in Murray to volley over. Within a minute, Scunthorpe had another chance when substitute Cleveland Taylor made a fine run into the Stags box and fired just over the bar in a move somewhat reminiscent of Preston’s third goal on Tuesday night. On 84 minutes, McNiven broke into the Scunthorpe box but chipped a shot wide when well placed. Shortly afterwards, the ball was played through to Asamoah but he hit a week shot wide.

On 86 minutes, Scunthorpe had goal disallowed when a cross from the byeline from Taylor was headed in at the far post by Rankine but the ball was judged to have gone out of play. It was a lucky call for the Stags, though being at the far end, it was impossible to judge whether it was a correct call. Moments later, Pilkington made a superb take from a cross as Scunthorpe turned up the pressure. In injury time, Artell was injured as Scunthorpe won a corner. With Artell forced to leave the pitch, Curle brought on Day for Asamoah to shore up the defence and the late danger was averted.

The Stags finished the game on the back foot as Scunthorpe had a goal disallowed and two other good chances in the final 10 minutes. But for 79 minutes after the opening goal, the Stags were in complete control and could have won the game comfortably with a better cutting edge. It was a very encouraging performance and to come to the league leaders and return home with a point has to be a good day’s work.

Man of Match: Craig Woodman

Report by: Martin Shaw at Glanford Park

Line Up:
Pilkington 7 Some fine handling, and generally looked solid.
McNiven 7 Good game in defence and pushing forward.
Artell 7 Decent game, and the all important goal.
John-Baptiste 8 Excellent game, with numerous superb tackles.
Woodman 9 Outstanding debut. Looked very classy indeed.
Neil 6 Poor first half though got better as the game wore on.
Curtis 5 Disappointing, though his performance wasn’t helped by stupid repeated chanting for MacKenzie.
Murray 8 Much improved. Gained confidence from a superb shot against the bar, and played very well dictating play from midfield.
Corden 6 Did ok but not at his best.
Larkin 7 Worked very hard and made some fine runs.
Asamoah 7 Caused the defence plenty of problems.
Sub Line Up:
Day (for Asamoah, 90+2) -
Subs not used: Langford, Dimech, MacKenzie, O’Neill.
Opposition Line Up:
Musselwhite, Stanton, Crosby, Butler, Ridley, Sparrow, Kell (Brighton ,45 ), Baraclough, Beagrie (Taylor ,71), Hayes, Keogh (Rankine ,71)
Subs not used: Evans, Jackson
K Woolmer, Northamptonshire 5 Poor game, but linesmen were even worse.

Season 04/05 Reports